New guy here.

Old 06-30-2007, 06:50 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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New guy here.

Many of the posts I've read on this forum explain my situation perfectly. My wife is an alcoholic, I'm frustrated, the problem consumes our entire family, and nothing we've tried has helped. I guess if I had to sum it up, I'm just afraid of what might happen if I leave. She drinks to falling down, zombie-like states and the chances are probable that she will seriously hurt herself or others. Yes, all types of help have been offered. She has one DUI on record, been to emergency room, had two or three personal counselors that specialize in alcoholism. She is absolutely against in-patient treatment which is the very thing we all think she needs. She is an afternoon drinker. The daily routine is to start drinking about 2-3 pm and sometimes passed out in bed by 7-8 pm.

The people I talk to at Al Anon say I am an enabler. I want to stop enabling. Do I just roll the dice and walk out? I appreciate any comments.
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Old 06-30-2007, 07:21 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Welcome,wyshy ! I'm glad you have joined us!!

Reading and posting has helped me start to untangle some my enabling behavior; I still have a way to go! One group of books that I find helpful are the Getting Them Sober series. You can "preview" a few chapters at:

I hope you stick around here; there are lots of great people who share their knowledge and has really helped me a LOT!!
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:54 AM
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Hi wyshy,
I'm glad you are going to Alanon and that you decided to share with us here too.
Keep going to meetings and learning and you will discover what you need to do. Until that time and during that time there is alot you can do for yourself.

It takes a bit of time to adjust my thinking and actions, but I learn to change 'me' by being around others who share the same experience. That's really all I can do- change myself, and the rest will follow it's due course.
Take care.
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:25 AM
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welcome, wyshy, glad you're here

It's suggested in Al-Anon not to make any major changes for 1 year. I stuck to that and it worked wonders for me. Even though during that time AH filed for divorce, that was his decision. Mine was to keep working my recovery and the payoff has been enormous.

Keep posting - look forward to getting to know you.
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:37 AM
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Welcome to SR wyshy... Glad to meet you.

I know the frustration of living with an Alcoholic and struggling to understand it all. Glad to hear that you are also going to Al-anon.... I hope you keep going ... it did a world of good for me in my growth.

Read the stickies at the top, some really good reading and keep posting... It really helps to get it all out.
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Old 06-30-2007, 11:53 AM
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Let Go Let God
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: jersey shore
Posts: 437
hi wyshy and welcome to SR!!
Its a great place , you will learn a ton here .
My husband is an alcoholic and I am an enabler too . Its seems that just by doing nothing except what has to be done you are an enabler . Didnt make sense to me at first but it does now . I enabled him to continue drinking but taking all responsibility away from him . I took care of the kids , the house , the bills , the schedules , even paying his union dues and filling out his steward reports . All the while I thought I was just doing what had to be done .
Once I was able to let go and live for myself (and my kids) I realized all the enabling I had done ! Hind sight really is 20/20!

Keep posting and tell us more about yourself .. Keep going to al-anon and keep an open mind .. I learned from here that you 'take what you need and leave the rest'!

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Old 06-30-2007, 12:48 PM
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Hey there wyshy, and welcome to this wonderful website.

I've been an enabler too, and I learned how to stop being that by working the 12 steps of al-anon.

No. You don't roll the dice and walk out. There's a series of steps we follow in order to figure out how each of one arrives at that decision.

First we look out for the safety of the children. You don't mention if you have children, or if any are affected by your wife's behavior. You said she has a DUI, does she drive with children in the car? You say she passs out by 7-8PM, does that leave young children unattended?

Next we look out for the safety of ourselves. Some drunks are violent, and the physical safety of the spouse comes first. Is your wife violent? Are there guns in the house? Is your life or that of anybody else endangered by violent behavior on her part?

After you have seen to the safety of all children and adults involved you can look into whether you want to stay in the relationship or leave. There's a slogan in al-anon that says "One day at a time". That means that you can decide to stay just for one day, and then when tomorrow comes you can stop and make a new decision.

Some people choose to leave the relationship. Sometimes the alcoholic finds recovery and some time later the couple is able to get together again. Sometimes not. I don't know if I will ever get back with my ex-wife. She has not found recovery yet and I have decided not to sit around waiting for that.

I worked the 12 steps of al-anon, starting with step 1. Having a good sponsor helped me a lot. You didn' mention if you have a sponsor, or whether you are working the steps. As I worked the steps I realized exactly _how_ I was enabling my wife, and exactly _how_ I was preventing her from realizing the seriousness of her disease. Once I understood _my part_ in that "dynamic" I was able to rationally evaluate what was best for _both_ of us. It was then that I was able to let go of my expectations of the relationship and decide that my leaving as the best thing for _us_.

What is best for _you_ is something that nobody else can tell you. We can all share how we arrived at our own decisions, and how those decisions are working out for us. Then you can adapt those experiences to your own situation and find what works best for you.

Welcome again, wyshy, I'm glad you decided to join us.

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Old 06-30-2007, 12:58 PM
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Let Go Let God
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very well written Mike .. Thank you for that
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Old 06-30-2007, 05:09 PM
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Welcome to SR !
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Old 06-30-2007, 05:15 PM
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get it, give it, grow in it
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Whatever you do formulate a plan with the best interests of your kids + their protection.
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Old 06-30-2007, 08:29 PM
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Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Thanks for the welcome

and the good advice. I really think there is a lot of help here and I look forward to learning more. Thank you all. To answer some of your questions. Yes, she drives while drunk. She falls a lot. She is bruised right now. My kids are 19 and 23, one is away at college and the other lives with us.
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:59 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: OHIO
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Welcome here and all I can say is read, read, and read some on any of our names for our histories.....

Well done Mike...well done indeed..

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Old 07-01-2007, 08:41 PM
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A work in progress....
Join Date: Nov 2006
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welcome, wyshy. I have three boys, two almost the same ages as your kids-my oldest are 24 and 19.

I made the decision (finally) to divorce my exah after almost 25 years of marriage. It took me a long time to get to the point of leaving, but I do believe I did the only thing I could do, for all of us.

I would echo everything mike said above. I'm glad you found this place, whether you decide to leave her or stay, you will find much love and support here.
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